New Jersey Devils Trade Rumors: Metro Division Partner?


One of the more interesting questions that remains to be answered this off-season is how the New Jersey Devils will acquire more scoring help. Given the New Jersey Devils surplus in talented young defenseman, most believe that they will move one or maybe even two players to acquire more scoring help. With the team in the midst of a rebuild, GM Ray Shero will likely stay away from players like Phil Kessel who could cost them the 6th overall pick in the draft.

There are plenty of teams who will likely be interested in acquiring one of the New Jersey Devils young defenseman, but one team has been rumored to be very interested recently. Metropolitan Division rival Columbus Blue Jackets have made it public they are looking for defensive help and have also made Kerby Rychel available.

As if it wasn’t enough to just see the above tweet and realize the New Jersey Devils and Columbus Blue Jackets could make good trade partners, Tom Gulitti reported the following in his Fire & Ice Blog recently.

"“Shero huddled with Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen for an extended chat at the scouting combine Saturday. It is no secret that Kekalainen is in the market for a young defenseman, particularly with his team at risk of losing 2011 fourth-round pick Mike Reilly.”"

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Columbus is stocked with talented forwards as Elliotte Friedman mentioned in the tweet above and Kerby Rychel would certainly fit the mold of what Ray Shero is looking for. Rychel is only 20 years old and spent a majority of his time in the AHL this season before a concussion ended his season. He was Columbus’ 1st round pick in 2013 and according to Hockey’s-Future he has a talent score of 7.0 and a B grade for probability of success. The following is their future prediction for Rychel.

"Rychel attended training camp with the Blue Jackets and began the 2014-15 season with AHL affiliate Springfield before being recalled at the end of November and making his NHL debut against the Nashville Predators. Showing the play-making skills for which he was noted in junior hockey as well playing with a physical edge, he is one of the more promising forwards in the Columbus organization. Long-term he projects to being an effective two-way player that makes those around him better with the ability to score the occasional goal."

The fact that he is projected to be an effective two-way player is music to my ears as he definitely fits the mold of the New Jersey Devils. I like the aspect of having a physical edge as a forward even though he did suffer a concussion this season. He is reportedly good to play at the start of next training camp and I do not believe this is another Ryane Clowe situation. He will likely be highly pursued on the trade market this off-season so his concussion won’t impact his trade value that much.

Assuming that either Jonathon Merrill or Eric Gelinas are the player involved in the trade I could see the following trade working out. Columbus gets Merril/Gelinas + the New Jersey Devils 2015 3rd round pick for Rychel + one of Columbus’ 2015 2nd round picks. I think that dealing Merrill or Gelinas would mean a straight swap for Rychel would be out of the question so a swap for picks would work well. Columbus has multiple picks early in this draft so they can afford to swap picks with the New Jersey Devils.

Next: The Devils Should Use Their Buyouts